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What is a Periodontist?

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A periodontist is a dentist who specializes in the soft tissues of the mouth and the underlying jawbone which supports the teeth. The primary focus of this residency training is on both surgical and non surgical management of periodontal disease.

Conditions Treated by a Periodontist

The periodontist is mainly concerned with: preventing the onset of gum disease (periodontal disease); diagnosing conditions affecting the gums and jawbone; and treating gingivitis, periodontitis, and bone loss. Periodontal disease is a progressive condition and the leading cause of tooth loss among adults in the developed world.

The periodontist is able to treat moderate and advanced gum disease by first addressing the bacterial infection at the root of the problem, providing periodontal treatment, then providing information and education on good oral hygiene and the effective cleaning of the teeth.

The most common condition treated by a periodontist are:

  • Advanced periodontitis – When the pockets between the teeth and the soft tissues in general exceed 6mm in depth, significant bone loss may occur; causing shifting or loss of teeth.

Treatments Performed by a Periodontist

The periodontist is able to perform a wide range of treatments to halt the progression of gum disease, and make the appearance of the smile more aesthetically pleasing.

Here are some of the treatments commonly performed by the periodontist:

  • Osteoplasty (hard tissue recontouring) – Once periodontitis has been treated, the periodontist can recontour the hard tissue to make the smile both natural-looking and aesthetically pleasing.
  • Gingivoplasty (soft tissue recontouring) – As gums recede due to periodontitis, the teeth may appear longer; causing a “toothy" smile. The periodontist can remove tissues or straighten the gum line to make the teeth look more even.

  • Deep pocket cleanings – As gingivitis and periodontitis progress, it becomes more difficult to cleanse the pockets between the soft tissues and the teeth. The periodontist can scale and root plane the teeth (sometimes under local anesthetic) to remove debris and infection-causing bacteria.
  • Crown lengthening – In order to expose more of the natural tooth, the periodontist can remove some of the surrounding gingival tissue.

Please contact our office if you have any questions or concerns.

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